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Parliament at work

This scene depicts ParliamentGlossary term - opens in a pop-up window at work during the reign of Edward III (1377-99). In 1265 Simon de MontfortGlossary term - opens in a pop-up window invited 'lesser' ranks of society, including knights and borough representatives, to debate the government of the realm after his victory over Henry III at the Battle of Lewes. Even before de Montfort's Parliament, advisory councils of leading magnates had been traditional, and sometimes also included county knights. Although magnates and lords dominated Parliament for centuries, the balance of power slowly changed. By the sixteenth century, relations between crown and commons became strained, and Elizabethan parliaments were notorious for their critical approach to 'national' issues.

Reference: British Library Cotton MS Nero f. 72 (date: 1377-99)
By permission of the British Library.
(© Copyright belongs to the British Library and further reproduction is prohibited.)

Parliament at work
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